Saturday, March 19, 2011

What Was I like At 3, Mommy?

Dear Allie,

This blog is all about you - as it should be - but, sometimes I write to your fans as I call them - the MANY people who love and support you. Sometimes you write to them. Sometimes we write to each other. Tonight, as I was putting you to bed I pictured you asking me "what was I like when I was....." and I decided I should tell you more.  As you know, I keep a journal for you... but, as you know, too, I slack at it as much as I slack at other things. I think you know that doesn't make me bad, just busy.  As many people can guess, the house isn't as clean as I'd like it and there are far too many toys around, but we spend our time doing what we think is important.. that  usually means playing with you, hanging out with you, being silly with you and sometimes just watching in amazement. So, perhaps I'll try to include a few of my "journal entries" on this blog as I'm pretty sure these will all become books for you to enjoy or giggle at for years to come. Your readers have already glanced into our lives in the most tenacious events and the happiest, why not include them in the day to day as well.

You are a busy 3 year old.  Since this all came to me as I patted your back and helped you calm down and fall asleep, we will start with your sleeping habits.  You are my "go" girl. You have so much energy. Taking naps is not in your agenda and in fact, we've pretty much given up on them on the weekends. We used to try to follow your day care schedule to a "t" to ensure you'd nap, but it rarely worked.  We've tried doing everything to wear you out for naps and if you take them, it is hours after you take them at school - regardless of what we did or did not do. I even wanted to invite all your classmates over to test my theory that you really needed 15 kids on cots next to you before you'd go to sleep.  It did make me feel a lot better when I found out that it takes a good 5 minutes (at least)- and sometimes a stern reminder that it is "time for bed" at school to get you to sleep, too.  So, many months ago we decided we'd do our weekends as we needed them to be - shopping, playing, visiting, whatever.. .if we happened to be home where you could take a nap, we'd definitely give it a whirl, but we stopped planning the day around the nap, which rarely happened and we ended up with the whole day gone and all we did was try to sleep... how exhausting that was!

Why do you not like to nap and go to sleep?  I believe it is because you are so excited about everything... life, toys, fun.. you name it.. you want to do it.  We do have a good routine at night, you and I love to rock in our chair. We read books and listen to lullaby's.  Lately, we've even started going to your room earlier and we enjoy quieter games before we rock and read. I just love the time we have together.  I know, sometimes it is my fault you stay up too late. I can't kiss you, hug you or listen to you giggle enough.  You are my lovely addiction. 

One thing you do - a little too often it seems - is take a "cat nap". I'm not sure you can really call it that. Basically, as it is close to nap or bedtime, we can get you settled enough where any other kid would be "down for the count". Tonight for example, you signed "bed", you walked to your bed, got in, tummy on the bed, arms wrapped around the pillow and you laid down quietly, gently breathing.  I know enough not to move or make a sound. So, I sit with you next to your "big kid toddler bed" and wait for either you to fall asleep or you to sit up and point to your crib... or.... you to sit up, bright eyed and bushy tailed as if you just slept for 10  hours.  Tonight, that is exactly what you did.  Then, you ran through a bunch of your signs as if your mind was just wanting to recall the day or the last video you saw and then... as is the case lately, you ask for and signed  "butterfly" (your current favorite DVD), you signed water, you swayed, you watch the shadows, you throw your doll, you pick up your doll, you pat your doll to sleep (okay, it looks like your beating the doll to sleep, but really.. you are patting the doll). You seem wide awake. Of course, normally I stop you before you do all you want to do and I encourage you to lay back down. I pat your back gently and coax you to sleep.  Tonight, I let you do all that I just wrote just to watch you - the room was very dark - as it must be for you to go to sleep and we had your sweet Allie lullaby's going. I watched you in the shadows. Your mind is so active, you are so ready to go and do and learn. You just can't seem to imagine why you must rest. But, soon... sometimes 30, 40, 50 minutes later you give in and you sleep.

As you can see, we gave up naps because it can take more than an hour to get you to sleep - and sometimes all that accomplished was you being "rested" and us being worn out and in desperate need of our own naps.  Experts can say all they want on what we should do, but I don't write this asking for advice. We all know everyone is different.  We've even left you in the crib to fall asleep on  your own (as I'm sure some of your readers were shouting out while reading this). But, with it... it makes no difference if you are alone or with do the same things. You aren't scared of the dark, you need it dark as can be to sleep, but sometimes I'll be here on the computer, listening to your monitor - like I am now - and thinking you are asleep and  you will surprise me - again after 30 or more minutes - with a giggle or chatter or you'll pull your butterfly crib toy and let its dainty music play.  That's my Allie.. you can even be so very tired. People will tell us as we head to the car that you will be out before we hit the road.  Car driving doesn't do it. We can ignore you, make no sounds, listen to soft music, etc. and will be awake the whole drive home.  Your eyes will be tired and puffy from being tired, but you will sign "swing" or "slide" or - your consistent and favorite signs "Signing Time"; "Movie" and lately it is all wrapped up in "butterfly".  You have a zest for life, a zest for being awake. A sweetness that can make even the most tired Mommy smile, hug you and say.. Allie.. you must calm down and go to sleep... lay down, please.....Then... when you are ready if you aren't already in  your crib, you will sign bed, blow us a kiss and wave and say bye bye. When you do that, we know you are ready.  We leave and you fall asleep... or doze for a moment... but, the consistent blowing us a kiss and saying "bye bye" is something I just love. My big girl, putting herself to sleep.

That is you at 3 and at bedtime.  As I listen to your monitor, appropriate, your lullaby just ended and said... "Allie... goodnight..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Mommy, what a great rendition of 'Allie Time @ Three'. These will definigtely be cherished memories. Allie is as lucky to have you as you are to have her.
Love, Dad/Grandpa